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Rochester massage parlor associated with prostitution arrests closes

A Rochester massage parlor associated with prostitution and sex trafficking has shut down.

The signs at China Massage, in suite 200 at an office complex at 2215 Second St. S.W., have been taken down, and the office appears to have been emptied. Council member Michael Wojcik, who represents the area, posted a picture of the vacant storefront on his Facebook page.

"We just can't have this kind of business happening in Rochester," he said.

The business was the site of a prostitution arrest on March 16, and its owner, Mei Li Cui of Rochester, previously worked at another massage parlor, on Elton Hills Drive, where two others were arrested in prostitution charges in April. All of those cases are still pending in Olmsted District Court.

On Aug. 31, another employee of China Massage was arrested on prostitution charges. That employee has been referred to a Twin Cities agency dealing with victims of sex trafficking, Wojcik said.

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A representative of China Massage could not immediately be reached. The office-complex owner, Dennis Weestrand, said he had given the business a two-month notice he was terminating the lease, and the owner agreed to move out early. The business was vacated on Saturday, he said.

"I don't have a clue what she's going to do," Weestrand said.

A longtime Rochester property owner, who developed Valhalla and Soldiers Field Plaza, Weestrand said he considered the allegations against China Massage to be unfair, and he was willing to see the court action carried out before taking action himself.

"They're fine tenants," he said. "They take care of the place well. I have no problem with them.

"I think they're being unfairly gone-after. But "I just have given up on it."

Factoring into his decision, Weestrand said, was Wojcik's public statements about China Massage, which attributed personal responsibility to Weestrand himself.

"I just don't want any more of his (Wojcik's) PR coming out," Weestrand said.

Wojcik said he was contacted by Weestrand's attorney, and warned against making more public statements. Weestrand said he is considering a defamation lawsuit.

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"I don't know what I will do next," he said. "I need to decide."

Wojcik said he has been careful in his public statements to say things that can be authenticated with official sources. He doesn't regret taking a public stand, he said.

"Five months or so, we were trying to work with him (Weestrand) behind the scenes," Wojcik said. Now, "he's synonymous with sex trafficking and prostitution for the rest of his life, probably, in the community."

The situation with China Massage rankled him, Wojcik said, for many reasons, not least of which the fact that his daughter attends preschool nearby.

"I think the community won, really," he said.

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